Osie Johnson

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James "Osie" Johnson (January 11, 1923, in Washington, D.C. – February 10, 1966, in New York City) was a jazz drummer, arranger and singer.[1]

Johnson studied at Armstrong Highschool where he was classmates with Leo Parker and Frank Wess.[1] He first worked with Sabby Lewis and then, after service in the United States Navy, freelanced for a time in Chicago. From 1951 to 1953, he was a member of Earl Hines's band.[2]

He can be heard on albums by Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims, and Mose Allison and is the drummer on Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife". (Some sources list Don Lamond as the drummer on "Mack the Knife") and on Ray Conniff's first album 'S Wonderful!. He recorded the album A Bit of the Blues as a singer and had arranged at a "hit" for singer Dinah Washington. His final recordings as a singer were on a J. J. Johnson album, now compiled as a collection called Goodies.

In 1957, Johnson appeared with Thelonious Monk and Ahmed Abdul-Malik on The Sound of Jazz.[3]

Johnson died from kidney failure in 1966, at the age of 43.[1]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Manny Albam

With Mose Allison

With Bob Brookmeyer

With Clifford Brown

With Ray Bryant

With Kenny Burrell

With Jimmy Cleveland

With Arnett Cobb

With Al Cohn

With Freddy Cole

With Art Farmer

With Curtis Fuller

With Bennie Green

With Freddie Green

With Urbie Green

With Tiny Grimes

With Gigi Gryce

With Lionel Hampton

With Johnny Hartman

With Coleman Hawkins

With Johnny Hodges

With Claude Hopkins

With Langston Hughes

With Illinois Jacquet

With Budd Johnson

With J. J. Johnson

  • Goodies (RCA, 1965)

With Hank Jones

With Quincy Jones

With Mundell Lowe

With Junior Mance

With Gary McFarland

With Howard McGhee

With Carmen McRae

With Helen Merrill

With Phineas Newborn, Jr.

With Joe Newman

With Oscar Pettiford

With Bud Powell

  • Blues for Bud (Columbia, 1958)

With Jimmy Raney

With George Russell

With Pee Wee Russell

With A. K. Salim

With Shirley Scott

With Zoot Sims

With Hal Singer

With Sonny Stitt

With Sylvia Syms

With Buddy Tate

With Billy Taylor

With Ben Webster

With Frank Wess

With Joe Wilder

With Cootie Williams

With Kai Winding

With Phil Woods


  1. ^ a b c Feather, Leonard (1999). The biographical encyclopedia of jazz. Oxford University Press. p. 365. ISBN 978-0-19-507418-5.
  2. ^ All Music
  3. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]